It is a sweet, May bank holiday and VICKY SPEEDBOAT have just finished their soundcheck at Red Rooms, Nottingham. Leaving the venue via being greeted by their dressing room door saying ‘Vicky Steamboat,’ we embark on a city-wide quest to find coffee that will help the band fix themselves from sleeping in their car after a show in Stoke.
Of course, it is bank holiday opening times so we are forced into grabbing take-away cups from the nearest Costa – not to worry, though, any caffeine today is greatly accepted and appreciated. Conversations are flowing about their time spent in the UK after flying in from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for just over a week-long gig schedule and this does not feel like an interview at all. Once we return to their dressing room, which to be fair to the venue is more of an apartment, guitarist WILL LINDSAY is impressed by the rider; joking to drummer SEAN HUBER that is the exact same as the Modern Baseball rider from their tour in August 2016.
“It is nice to be out here on our own, it feels like home,” emphasises Sean. Their tour setup is literally just the two members travelling around the UK in a car, and as Will explains it is “crazy because it is the wrong side of the car on the wrong side of the road.”
What makes the whole idea of a two piece “leading the ship” even more impressive is, as Sean reveals, their “GPS doesn’t particularly work so every day we get to a city and spend half an hour trying to find a venue, which has been exciting.”
If you managed to catch the band on tour, either this time around or during their shows with Modern Baseball last year, you will have seen ‘koozies‘ on their merch table. A weird contraption that keeps your beer cold AND makes you look cool, koozies are predominantly popular in the United States and Sean is shocked by this, saying “We didn’t expect to be the only band selling them because it is a thing back in the States.” Will explains that “We wanted to have more on our merch table. The moment we started selling koozies we realised a lot of people hadn’t heard of them. Now it has become a challenge to see if we can push these and start a revolution.”
All bands have their iconic symbol, other than Vicky Speedboat‘s signature being the UK koozie reps, they are also using a shark drawing as their logo. The story behind it is a “tattoo artist from Columbus, Ohio, Joey Knuckles who is a really cool dude and really well known. He was in Philly for a long time and is a wild dude and drew that up for us and tattooed it up for us and we are going to keep using it.”
Sean gives fans the opportunity to receive some free merch “if anyone gets that tattoo, they get a shirt for free,” to which Will supports the idea, saying “This is on the record GET THAT TATTOO!”
Unlike touring in the States, the UK drives between shows are not as draining or long as across the pond, but similarly it is important to have some quality music blasting through the stereo on the motorway. “I am obsessed with Kate Tempest,” beams Will excitedly. “I saw her at a small venue in Philadelphia a couple weeks ago and her new record Let There Be Chaos is fucking unbelievable.
“It is one of the most imaginative, well-thought out records and for this band I find inspiration for writing mostly from bands that don’t sound like us.” It is no surprise then that another inspiration behind Will’s writing as a Vicky Speedboat member is Mike Skinner. “I don’t really care about famous people, but if I saw Mike Skinner I would freak out!
“He played Terminal 5 in New York and I was in High School and I was going to drive to Ohio for it. I had tickets for it but he cancelled the show. I never saw him. Heartbreaking.”
Vicky Speedboat‘s debut EP, Two Years No Basement, revolves around stories told from the time spent travelling – mainly in the UK and there are several references tucked tidily in between tracks. Their story telling method of songwriting has allowed them to name drop friends and talk about their real life experiences. Going back to one certain friend again and again is becoming a running joke between Sean and Will.
“Out of various projects between us, it is the third time our friend Jacob Overholt has been mentioned. We made up a gas station for him. ‘The cashier at Overholt Station’ [Dave’s Bed] is fictional but it is Jakob Overholt and he smokes a lot of cigarettes.”
There is a bigger plan for Vicky Speedboat, though, and this is not just a side project of Steady Hands or Modern Baseball. “We had a lot of big plans going into this band so now we have some time set aside where we can hit some really cool places. It is funny because we have been talking about touring Russia and there were some loose plans on that.
“There is no fucking way I am going to Russia,” says Sean, but Will jumps in with “I would definitely go still. If I ever write a biography; that is why I would go to Russia. We are definitely going to get detained, we are definitely going to get brutalised by the cops!”
Less brutal places that are on the band’s ‘to-go’ list include “mainland Europe, Japan” and “central America within eighteen months!
“This tour has proven our ability to travel with very little!” is the closing message from Will Lindsay. A two-piece with an explosive sound who keep everything low key. For a band with no little UK publicity, they have big plans – whether it be starting a koozie revolution, getting the masses tattooed in exchange for a shirt or coming back in a few years to tell us about their Russian experience; Vicky Speedboat are definitely a band to keep tabs on.
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